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Lufthansa pilots call full-scale strike for Wednesday

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Lufthansa pilots call full-scale strike for Wednesday
Photo: DPA
18:41 CET+01:00
The pilots union Cockpit announced on Monday that pilots intend to ground the entire Lufthansa fleet in a dispute over wages. Meanwhile Eurowings is to be hit by strikes on Tuesday.

Cockpit announced last Wednesday that strikes were imminent after negotiations in salary increases with Germany’s largest airline broke down.

The union called for the industrial action after negotiations stalled on salaries for the 5,400 pilots employed by Lufthansa, Lufthansa Cargo and budget subsidiary Germanwings.

Pilots are seeking a retrospective salary increase over the past five years totaling 20 percent. The pilots have not received a wage increase since 2012 when their last contract expired.

The airline had attempted to prevent the new round of strikes by calling in arbitration. But Cockpit described the salary proposal offered by the company as “not worthy of arbitration”, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ).

On Wednesday long and short haul flights are set to be hit, meaning passengers on every Lufthansa flight that departs from Germany will face a cancellation.

Meanwhile labour union Verdi has called a strike of cabin crew on Lufthansa’s budget airline Eurowings for Tuesday at Hamburg and Düsseldorf airports.

Cabin crews based at both airports are set to stop work at 5am and not recommence their jobs until 8pm.

It is the second time within weeks that Eurowings crews have gone on strike.

In October Ufo, a competing trade union, called a strike of cabin crews that affected tens of thousands of passengers

The twin strikes are the latest in a set of disputes Between Lufthansa and unions going back over several years as the carrier has attempted fundamental restructuring to its business model.

Lufthansa cabin staff last November staged the longest walkout in the company's history with a seven-day stoppage, during which 4,700 flights were scrapped and 550,000 passengers were unable to fly.

Just this summer, the airline at last reached an agreement with cabin crew, ending the two-year labour dispute that impacted hundreds of thousands of passengers.

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